MIAMI REAL ESTATE IS SIZZLING, AND BROKERS— SELLING EVERYTHING FROM SIX-FIGURE CONDOS IN EDGEWATER TO TOMMY HILFIGER’S $27.5 MILLION GOLDEN BEACH MANSION— HAVE ADAPTED THEIR WAYS TO 2017’S MARKET.
Miami real estate brokers—selling everything from six-figure condos in Edgewater to Tommy Hilfiger’s $27.5 million Golden Beach mansion—have adapted their ways to 2017’s market.
Ask 10 real estate professionals about the state of the market right now, and you’ll likely get 10 different answers. That’s because the Greater Miami market is hyper-local. Luxury waterfront condominiums in Sofi may be all the rage, for example, while farther north, sales might be more challenging.
“The market is doing much better than 2016,” says Dora Puig, broker/owner of Luxe Living Realty in Miami Beach (dorapuig .com). “But I find it to be a confusing market. You have a record sale like the one I just did, and then you have people slashing prices and selling low.”
Puig sold a teardown on a 13,408-square-foot lot on West Dilido Drive for $10 million that set a record for a land sale in the Venetian Islands. Her buyer plans to build a 7,600-square-foot home on the site and is working with internationally renowned South African architecture firm SAOTA to design it.
But real estate professionals report that 2017 is already sizing up to be better than last year. One reason is that sellers are adjusting prices—creating opportunities for buyers. “As soon as a seller
becomes flexible, we see movement,” says Eddy Martinez, CEO of Worldwide Properties (worldwideproperties.com). “But there has to be a nice price break for the buyer to make a move.”
Martinez recently sold a condo at Murano at Portofino that had been on the market for eight months at $2.9 million, but ultimately went at a discount of $300,000. “Once the sellers started being not so firm on their price, it traded,” he says.
Monica Betancourt, a real estate agent with EWM Realty International (monicabetancourt.com), reports that properties in good condition priced at $600,000 or below are selling quickly, many with multiple offers, because there’s little inventory and pent-up demand. But luxury homes are another story, since many are overpriced, she notes. Betancourt recently sold a spectacular home in Pinecrest for $3.3 million in only four months—after it
“AS SOON AS THE SELLER BECOMES FLEXIBLE, WE SEE MOVEMENT.” —EDDY MARTINEZ
had languished for over a year with another brokerage at $4.2 million.
Condos are selling as well—when they are priced competitively. Nancy Batchelor, a senior vice president with EWM (nancy batchelor.com), agrees. “A neighborhood is hot if buyers can get good deals,” Batchelor says. “Brickell is strong, and we’re selling a lot in Edgewater now. Young professionals are attracted to that area, and it’s been a good opportunity.”
Other areas drawing buyers are Surfside, Bal Harbour, and Sunny Isles, says Bryan Sereny, senior director of luxury sales for Douglas Elliman (billandbryanteam.elliman.com). “That stretch has a number of brand-new buildings and some fantastic values,” he says.
Buyers are a mix of Americans—many of whom are relocating for tax purposes—and foreigners, who are beginning to re-enter the market. “Foreign buyers pop up from all over the world, whether it’s for a favorable exchange rate, a desire to relocate to the US for safety or stability or capital flight,” says Jill Hertzberg of The Jills team at Coldwell Banker (thejills.com). She and her partner, Jill Eber, closed $103 million in sales through the beginning of May and are currently marketing the $27.5 million Golden Beach estate owned by fashion mogul Tommy Hilfiger and his wife, Dee. To accommodate the influx of international buyers, reportedly some 81 condo towers in Miami-dade with over 8,000 units have gone up in the last six years east of I-95, according to cranespotters.com.
Still, in such a variable environment, marketing can pose a challenge. Peggy Fucci, CEO of Oneworld Properties (owpbrokers.com), is creating professional lifestyle videos to showcase her projects. “There’s a storyline, almost like a commercial,” she says. “We find that people connect a lot more by watching instead of reading.”
Another popular sales strategy: food. Susan Rindley, an agent with One Sotheby’s International Realty (susanrindley.com), prides herself on the cuisine she offers at brokers’ open houses to showcase her listings. “I have my personal caterer do a white-glove luxury affair—almost like a wedding,” she says. “That’s what our clients expect.”
Of course in a market where cash transactions were almost 40 percent of all April sales (nearly double the national average), the properties, the weather, and the Sunshine State of mind certainly are the most important assets a broker has.
Nothing screams Miami like a boat dock, swimming pool, tennis court, and palm trees—all in your backyard. above: Hilfigerds home is filled with the coupleds collection of Pop and post-pop art.
Floor-to-ceiling windows let the Miami sun shine bright in this Sofi bedroom.
Tommy Hilfigerds Golden Beach mansion, at 605 Ocean Boulevard, is on the market for $27.5 million.
An all-white façade pops against the aqua blue of the pool. above: Bohemian vibes abound at this breezy 1021 North Venetian Drive property.